Summer: It’s a great time to feast on fresh produce
Here's a look at fruits and vegetables that hit their peak during the warmer months.
Many things are better in summer—starting with the fresh and delicious produce that's plentiful this time of year.
When the temperatures rise, many fruits and vegetables begin to reach their peak flavor and freshness. So the summer is a great time to enjoy a wider assortment of fresh gems when they taste best.
And as a bonus, fresh produce from your supermarket or farmer's market costs less when it's in season. So shopping for summer gems is good for your taste buds—and your budget!
No matter what the season, you'll want to choose many different kinds of fruits and veggies. That's the best way to get the widest variety of nutrients.
And what might those nutrients do for you? For starters, you'll find cancer-fighting antioxidants and many key vitamins and minerals.
That's not all. Most fruits and veggies are low in calories and fat but high in fiber that helps you feel full. So eating more of them is a good way to help you lose or avoid unwanted pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Let's hit the produce aisle
Below you'll find some produce suggestions from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the American Institute for Cancer Research, along with nutrition information and some delicious, summer-centric ideas for preparation.
Nutrition: One cup contains about 83 calories, as well as fiber, cancer-fighting antioxidants called flavonoids, and vitamins C and K.
Preparation idea: Layer blueberries and plain, nonfat or low-fat yogurt, then freeze and serve. Of course, you can always eat blueberries as delicious snacks. Just rinse and enjoy!
Nutrition: Two cups, diced, contain 92 calories, vitamins C and A plus lycopene.
Preparation idea: Dice chilled melon slices and add them to a fresh summer green salad. Drizzle on a vinaigrette dressing.
Nutrition: One peach contains 60 calories and packs plenty of vitamins C and A, along with fiber and potassium.
Preparation idea: Chop up peaches and tomatoes to use in a zingy, summer salsa. Flavor with cilantro, lime juice, and other herbs and spices.
Nutrition: There are 80 calories in 1/3 of a medium avocado, right along with heart-healthy fats, fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and E.
Preparation idea: Slice and serve in tacos.
Nutrition: One medium ear contains 90 calories, vitamin C, protein and fiber.
Preparation idea: For a smoky flavor that sizzles like summer, pull back (but don't remove) the husks, remove the silk, push the husks back around the corn, and grill for about 10 minutes, turning the cobs often. Or remove the husk and cook it in foil.
Nutrition: Half a medium squash (1/2 cup) contains 16 calories, potassium and lots of vitamin C.
Preparation idea: Cut squash into long strips, brush with olive oil and place directly on the grill. Or cook smaller pieces in foil. Sprinkle on your favorite spices and herbs.